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Current Gorillas News and Events, Gorillas News Articles.
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Sweeping census provides new population estimate for western chimpanzees
A sweeping new census published in the journal Environmental Research Letters estimates 52,800 western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) live in eight countries in western Africa, with most of them found outside of protected areas, some of which are threatened by intense development pressures. (2019-03-29)

US indoor climate most similar to northeast African outdoors
Americans are most comfortable when their indoor climate is like the northeast African outdoors -- warm and relatively dry. (2019-03-20)

Scientists left camera traps to record wild apes -- watch what happens
Researchers analyzed video from remote camera-trap devices placed in ape-populated forests throughout Africa to see how wild apes would react to these unfamiliar objects. Responses varied by species and even among individuals within the same species, but one thing was consistent throughout: the apes definitely noticed the cameras -- they poked them, stared at them, and occasionally tried to bite them. The study appears March 14 in the journal Current Biology. (2019-03-14)

Wild African ape reactions to novel camera traps
An international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, analyzed video from remote camera-trap devices placed in ape-populated forests throughout Africa to see how wild apes would react to these unfamiliar objects. Responses varied by species, and even among individuals within the same species, but one thing was consistent throughout: the apes definitely noticed the cameras. (2019-03-14)

A scientific study reveals the enigmas on social behaviour of western lowland gorillas
A new study reveals one of the enigmas related to the social behaviour of the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in the heart of the African equatorial rainforest. hese primates show a dynamic social structure -- individuals change frequently between families -- with a high degree of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among the members. (2019-02-06)

Human mutation rate has slowed recently
Researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, and Copenhagen Zoo have discovered that the human mutation rate is significantly slower than for our closest primate relatives. The new knowledge may be important for estimates of when the common ancestor for humans and chimpanzees lived -- and for conservation of large primates in the wild. (2019-01-22)

Historical genomes reveal recent changes in genetic health of eastern gorillas
The critically endangered Grauer's gorilla has recently lost genetic diversity and has experienced an increase in harmful mutations. These conclusions were reached by an international team of researchers who sequenced eleven genomes from eastern gorilla specimens collected up to 100 years ago, and compared these with genomes from present-day individuals. The results are now published in Current Biology. (2018-12-27)

Recycle your old mobile phone to save gorilla populations
Are you among the 400 million people around the world who have relegated an old mobile phone to the top drawer in the past year? (2018-12-05)

Late Miocene ape maxilla (upper jaw) discovered in western India
An ape maxilla (upper jaw) from the Late Miocene found in the Kutch basin, in western India, significantly extends the southern range of ancient apes in the Indian Peninsula, according to a study published in Nov. 14, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ansuya Bhandari from the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow, India, and colleagues. (2018-11-14)

Lifespan and sexual maturity depends on your brain more than your body
New Vanderbilt research finds how long humans and other warm-blooded animals live -- and when they reach sexual maturity -- may have more to do with their brain than their body. More specifically, it is not animals with larger bodies or slower metabolic rates that live longer; it is animals with more neurons in the cerebral cortex, whatever the size of the body. (2018-10-30)

Males have greater reproductive success if they spend more time taking care of kids
Males have greater reproductive success if they spend more time taking care of kids -- and not necessarily only their own, according to new research published by anthropologists at Northwestern University. (2018-10-15)

A pheromone-sensing gene that predates land-dwelling vertebrates
Scientists at Tokyo Tech have discovered a gene that appears to play a vital role in pheromone sensing. The gene is conserved across fish and mammals and over 400 million years of vertebrate evolution, indicating that the pheromone sensing system is much more ancient than previously believed. This discovery opens new avenues of research into the origin, evolution, and function of pheromone signaling. (2018-10-09)

Study examines foraging of mountain gorillas for sodium-rich foods
A new Biotropica study examines mountain gorillas in Rwanda and their foraging for sodium-rich food in both national park areas and lands managed by local communities. (2018-09-19)

Newly identified African bird species already in trouble
Central Africa's Albertine Rift region is a biodiversity hotspot consisting of a system of highlands that spans six countries. Recent studies have shown that the population of sooty bush-shrikes occupying the region's mid-elevation forests is a distinct species, and new research from The Condor: Ornithological Applications reveals that this newly discovered species may already be endangered due to pressure from agricultural development. (2018-09-19)

Ape parasite genomes reveal origin, evolution of leading cause of malaria outside Africa
The genome sequences of ape parasites related to Plasmodium vivax, the main source of mosquito-borne malaria outside Africa, provide insights on the origin and early evolution of the human parasite. This finding could have implications for better comprehending and eradicating malaria infection worldwide. (2018-08-20)

Improved ape genome assemblies provide new insights into human evolution
Higher-quality assemblies of great ape genomes have now been generated without guidance of the human reference genome. They provide a clearer view of genetic differences that arose as humans diverged from other primates. The newest investigation offers the most comprehensive catalog of genetic variants that were gained or lost in different ape lineages. The influence of these variants was explored in brain development, dietary needs and anatomy. A fossil virus found in ape but not human genomes was also examined. (2018-06-07)

Number of wild mountain gorillas exceeds 1,000
A recent census of the critically endangered mountain gorillas conducted in the Virunga Volcanoes found a minimum of 604 individuals. In combination with the 400 individuals living in the only other population in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, these new results push the total number of wild mountain gorillas in the world to over 1000. (2018-05-31)

'Uniquely human' muscles have been discovered in apes
Muscles believed to be unique to humans have been discovered in several ape species, challenging long-held anthropocentric theories on the origin and evolution of human soft tissues. This questions the view that certain muscles evolved to provide special adaptations for human traits, such as walking on two legs, tool use, and sophisticated vocal communication and facial expressions. The findings highlight that thorough knowledge of ape anatomy is necessary for a better understanding of human evolution. (2018-05-23)

Deadly malaria's evolution revealed
The evolutionary path of the deadliest human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has been revealed for the first time. This parasite is a member of the Laverania parasite family that only infect the great apes including humans, chimpanzees and gorillas. Scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators estimate that Plasmodium falciparum emerged as a human-specific parasite species earlier than previously thought. The study in Nature Microbiology gives clues to how deadly parasites emerge. (2018-05-21)

Stone Age hepatitis B virus decoded
An international team of scientists led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Kiel has successfully reconstructed genomes from Stone Age and Medieval European strains of the hepatitis B virus. This unprecedented recovery of ancient virus DNA indicates that hepatitis B was circulating in Europe at least 7,000 years ago. (2018-05-10)

What gorilla poop tells us about evolution and human health
A study of the microbiomes of wild gorillas and chimpanzees offers insights into the evolution of the human microbiome and might even have implications for human health. The research project was led by scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Findings appear in the journal Nature Communications. (2018-05-03)

Massive study across western equatorial Africa finds more gorillas and chimpanzees than expected
A massive decade-long study of Western Equatorial Africa's gorillas and chimpanzees has uncovered both good news and bad about our nearest relatives. The good news: there are one third more western lowland gorillas and one tenth more central chimpanzees than previously thought. The bad news: the vast majority of these great apes (80 percent) exist outside of protected areas, and gorilla populations are declining by 2.7 percent annually. (2018-04-25)

Animal images used in marketing may skew public perception about their survival risks
Many of the world's most charismatic animal species -- those that attract the largest interest and deepest empathy from the public -- are at high risk of extinction in part because many people believe their iconic stature guarantees their survival. (2018-04-12)

Adult chimpanzees play more than adult lowland gorillas in captivity
Play is more frequent in captive adult chimpanzees than in captive adult lowland gorillas, according to a study published March 7, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Giada Cordoni and Elisabetta Palagi from Univerity of Pisa in collaboration with Ivan Norscia from University of Turin. (2018-03-07)

AI computer vision breakthrough IDs poachers in less than half a second
Researchers at the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society have long been applying AI to protect wildlife. Initially, computer scientists were using AI and game theory to anticipate the poachers' haunts, and now they have applied artificial intelligence and deep learning to spot poachers in near real-time. (2018-02-08)

Research suggests gorillas can develop food cleaning behavior spontaneously
Researchers have suggested that gorillas are capable of learning food cleaning behaviors without having to witness it in others first. (2017-12-04)

Kent State research group publishes analysis of primate brains in top science journal
How different are human brains compared to the brains of other primates such as chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys? Researchers in Kent State University's College of Arts and Sciences recently co-authored an article with more than 30 scientists, led by Yale University, from the United States, Italy and Spain in the journal Science that describes some of the small, yet distinct differences between the species in how individual cells function and form connections. (2017-11-30)

Long-term logging study demonstrates impacts on chimpanzees and gorillas (Republic of Congo)
Research has shown human disturbance can have detrimental effects on great ape populations but now, due to a study published in Biological Conservation on Nov. 27 by Lincoln Park Zoo, there is evidence showing how selective logging impacts chimpanzees and gorilla populations differently by utilizing data collected before, during and after timber extraction. (2017-11-27)

Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
Malaria parasites, although widespread among wild chimpanzees and gorillas, have not been detected in bonobos, a chimp cousin. Although the researchers saw evidence of a new malaria species in bonobos, it was limited to one small area of their range. This work helps the hunt for biological loopholes to potentially exploit the life history of ape pathogens to better understand how they cross over to humans. (2017-11-21)

Mammals switched to daytime activity after dinosaur extinction
Mammals only started being active in the daytime after non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out about 66 million years ago (mya), finds a new study led by UCL and Tel Aviv University's Steinhardt Museum of Natural History. (2017-11-06)

Tropical forest reserves slow down global warming
National parks and nature reserves in South America, Africa and Asia, created to protect wildlife, heritage sites and the territory of indigenous people, are reducing carbon emissions from tropical deforestation by a third, and so are slowing the rate of global warming, a new study shows. (2017-10-27)

Researchers identify protein that could reduce death, improve symptoms in flu and other infections
A new study by researchers has identified an innovative strategy for treating influenza, and perhaps other infectious diseases as well. Scientists showed that a small protein called retrocyclin-101 (RC-101) could potentially improve the symptoms and mortality associated with the flu and possibly other types of infectious illness as well. (2017-09-29)

Anthrax: A hidden threat to wildlife in the tropics
Researchers illuminate the epidemiology of a cryptic pathogen. (2017-08-02)

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans. (2017-07-13)

A new tool to decipher evolutionary biology
A new bioinformatics tool to compare genome data has been developed by teams from the Max F. Perutz Laboratories, a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, together with researchers from Australia and Canada. The program called 'ModelFinder' uses a fast algorithm and allows previously not attainable new insights into evolution. The results are published in the influential journal Nature Methods. (2017-05-09)

Affluent countries contribute less to wildlife conservation than the rest of the world
Less affluent countries are more committed to conservation of their large animals than richer ones, a new Oxford University research collaboration has found. In collaboration with Panthera, researchers from Oxford's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) have assessed how much, or little, individual countries contribute to protecting the world's wildlife. (2017-05-04)

Study could provide first clues about the social lives of extinct human relatives
A new study from The Australian National University (ANU) of the bony head-crests of male gorillas could provide some of the first clues about the social structures of our extinct human relatives, including how they chose their sexual partners. (2017-05-03)

Lice and their bacterial sidekicks have evolved together for millions of years
A Florida Museum of Natural History study provides new insights into the complex, shared history between blood-sucking lice and the vitamin-producing bacterial sidekicks that enable them to parasitize mammals, including primates and humans. (2017-04-14)

Final biomedical trial on captive chimpanzees is first oral Ebola vaccine for saving wild apes
Oral vaccine offers hope for ape species ravaged by Ebola and other diseases, as it can be widely dispersed to save more wild animals. However, scientists say recent law changes on captive chimpanzee testing may stop the conservation work in its tracks. (2017-03-09)

Dogs, toddlers show similarities in social intelligence
University of Arizona researcher Evan MacLean, director of the Arizona Canine Cognition Center, found that dogs and 2-year-old children show similar patterns in social intelligence, much more so than human children and one of their closest relatives: chimpanzees. The research could help scientists better understand how humans evolved socially. (2017-02-27)

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